Capri, an island found in Italyâ€™s Gulf of Naples, has been a holiday destination for thousands of years and was as one of the Roman’s favourite resorts. Visitors come to admire its natural wonders like the Blue Grotto, and its rugged landscape is oh so beautiful to explore.
We arrived at Capri on a huge ferry and as soon as you disembark you have to take a step back and marvel at the beauty thatâ€™s before you. We were eager to take it all in and had heard that the best views of the island can be found from the highest point, which is the top ofÂ Â Mount Solaro.
The Phoenician Steps
Having been told it was just a 20-minute walk to the Mount Solaro viewing platform we set about finding the Phoenician Steps, which link the Marina Grande, Â the main port, to Anacapri, the upper most part of the island which sits hundreds of feet above sea level.
This stairway is thought to have been built by ancient Greek colonists, and, before the completion of the main road which now connects the two parts of the island, the steps were the only way to reach Anacapri.
As we started to ascend, we soon realised it was going to take a lot longer than 20 minutes. Two hours, 921 steps and a definite bout of heat stroke later, we finally found ourselves on the main road into Anacapri. Whilst standing and catching our breath we watched busses whizz past us carrying the clever tourists who had decided not to walk, but we were proud to have made it by foot â€¦eventually!
Despite our dehydration and tired feet, we found the the views you get from every point on the staircase completely dazzling. We only saw three people in the whole two hours we were climbing. If you are fairly fit and have two hours to spare and lots of water with you I do recommend climbing to the top this way. There isnâ€™t a great deal of shade until you get to the top though so definitely take a hat with you!
Although Anacapri was beautiful in its own right and Â there are several shops and restaurants that have the most amazing views across the bay, we were determined to reach that platform and so our â€˜climbâ€™ continued.
Anacapri – chairlifts with a view!
From the town you have to take a chairlift to the very top of the mountain, allowing you to take in some more amazing views as you ascend. But be prepared when you getÂ into the perpetually moving seats, health and safety wasnâ€™t top of the agenda here! You sit on a single seat with only a metal tube the width of your thumb to stop you from falling out â€“ and oh, it doesnâ€™t actually attach to anything!
Mount Solaro – the best views in Capri
It takes about 15 minutes to get to the viewing point and a return ticket for the chairlift costs â‚¬10, but itâ€™s worth it. Once at the top, the view is utterly breathtaking and well worth the adventure getting up there. From a soaring 589m above sea level visitors are treated to sweeping views of the Faraglioni rocks, Capri town centre and, on a clear day, even as far afield as Sorrento.
There are several viewing platforms as well as a restaurant and a few outbuildings which provide some much needed shade. We sat in a small wooded area behind the cafe and took in the views before we headed back down.Â I would really recommend visiting if you are in Capri, it is a truly beautiful place to be.
Top tips for getting to Mount Solaroâ€™s viewing platform
- If you do decide to take the Phoenician Steps up to Anacapri make sure you take lots of water. There are no taps on the route and in the midday heat you definitely need to keep hydrated!
- When taking the chairlift make sure you hold onto your hats…literally! We saw no end of hats, bags and scarves on the grass beneath us as we ascended to the viewpoint.
- If you donâ€™t want to walk it (I donâ€™t blame you!), the busses take 15 minutes to get to the chairlift and tickets are cheap.
- If you arenâ€™t a fan of heights, the chairlift might not be for you. There are some points when you are very high up indeed, but if you can get through that, the views are totally worth it.
- If you have the time, there is a gorgeous beach only a short bus ride away from the centre of Capri. Called Faro beach, itâ€™s a real gem the locals love. I would recommend going on a weekday though, because weekends get very busy.